Auto Insurance

Written By Advanced Spine Center on February 12, 2016

Unfortunately, in today's world Auto insurance is required by law but when it comes time to use the insurance, insurance claims favor the insurance industry.  This should come as no surprise given the insurance companies lobby our legislatures, promote legislation to further their efforts to eliminate or minimize any claims, and position themselves to "not pay or provide minimal payment."   By law a vehicle owner is required to purchase auto insurance.  In Florida, the insurance is called no fault PIP, Personal Injury Protection.  The insurance companies want your premiums paid timely and in full; but when it comes to paying out benefits as a result of a crash, insurance companies deny, delay, and defend and in some cases downright refuse to pay.  In many cases, payment is only made by a law suit which takes 6 months to a year before the benefit gets paid.
 
Promoted by the insurance industry, the latest change in Florida statutes require a person to acquire and pay for "no fault" auto insurance (PIP) in the amount of $10,000.  In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a motor vehicle crash; you, the policy holder, are now given "14 days" to see a medical provider or “lose your no fault ($10,000) benefits.”  In addition, if you do see a provider within the required time you may only be limited to $2,500 unless you are diagnosed with an "emergency medical condition" (EMC).  The EMC is defined as an injury that will result in jeopardy to the patient's health, with impairment to bodily functions and/or dysfunction to any bodily organ or part.   Such an injury over time can lead to progressive pain and suffering.
 
The  Florida PIP law was established in the 1980s and provided for $10,000 in coverage.   Interestingly, the $10,000 coverage has remained the same for past thirty years.    Is it possible that medical expenses have gone up during this time frame?  So, now you know how the insurance companies “hold down costs.”    They are talking about their costs not the cost to the consumer.
 
The latest in auto crash research, indicates vehicular accidents subject the driver and passengers to unbelievable high shear forces that can cause injury.   This type of injury is permanent ligamentous injury and leads to musculoskeletal dysfunction.  This type of injury will support an EMC necessary for access to 100% of your insurance benefits.   This type of injury, commonly referred to as whiplash, can negatively affect the spine including the neck, mid-back, or low back.   Understand, whiplash symptoms can appear within the 14 day required period, but in my experience in dealing with whiplash patients for 15 years, the symptoms may not appear or become cognizant to the person for some time after the crash, usually weeks but may be many months after the initial crash.
 
If you are in "any" motor vehicle accident, whether you consider it mild or serious, go immediately to a medical provider within the 14 day required period in order to preserve the benefits you paid for.  Yes, see a medical provider (DC, DO, MD, hospital, paramedics), even before seeing a lawyer.  It would be wise on your part to choose a provider that knows how to find, diagnose, and treat an EMC.  So go to a specialist in whiplash that has the proper equipment and knows how to make the EMC diagnosis and can back up the diagnosis with solid objective evidence.    
Here at the Advanced Spine Center, we offer an examination that will find an EMC if you have one and support the EMC diagnosis with objective evidence such as static X-ray and Digital Motion X-Ray.    Static X-ray is excellent for looking at anatomy, while the DMX is very useful in identifying function or in this case, loss of function, such as  loss of range of motion of the neck and or shoulders.   The DMX is useful in finding ligament damage in the neck called "listhesis."   A listhesis is the abnormal movement of one vertebrae on another and is caused by ligamentous damage.   Often, whiplash victims suffer from listheses over several levels which causes or can cause pain, abnormal movement patterns, and nerve damage that can be progressive, permanent, and painful.    Ultimately, the ligament damage starts and perpetuates the degenerative processes within the spine.
 
The collection of auto insurance benefits is complicated and time consuming.   The Advanced Spine Center will bill the insurance company and fight them on your behalf when they don't pay, so you don't have to.
 
Finally, the Advanced Spine Center can offer the names of several attorneys so you can choose one that is skilled in dealing with auto accident cases and is familiar with the "soft tissue injury, i.e., ligament damage" and can use the objective evidence generated supporting your injury to get a settlement you deserve.
 
If you have any questions as to the process of "getting help" after an auto accident, please call us.  We will be happy to answer your questions 561-433-4184.